Whether you have been producing music for a while or are starting out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, humans have a natural tendency to compare our work to others.
If you have some years under your belt as a music producer and you're not achieving the sounds or success you wished for, you may start wondering what is wrong. If you are just now jumping into the fray as a music producer, you're likely seeking an edge over the competition.
Both of these trails can lead to the question: is my music production equipment good enough?
But, before you spend boatloads of money on new equipment, check out our article detailing that, while equipment is important, you really don't need the best equipment to produce good music.
Reasons Why You Don’t Need Top of the Line Equipment
Table Of Contents
- Songs Come From Being Creative
- Master Your Program
- Here Are A Few Things You Should Look Into
- Getting Started
1. Songs Come From Being Creative
First and foremost, the dollar sign on the products and instruments you have will not necessarily make music production any easier. Ultimately, the ideas for songs are coming from your mind, and as a music producer, that should be your primary goal.
Sure, if you are looking for a specific sound and that sound happens to be from an expensive piece of gear, then maybe start saving up, but it will not help you start a song.
What will help you grow is learning as much as you can about production and how to be creative as a music producer.
Creativity is the main goal as a producer, and if you don’t have ideas flowing in our head, then that $10,000 piano you are finally getting to sit in front of means absolutely nothing.
You need to be able to transfer the ideas from your head to your laptop as fast as possible. Without these ideas, the song has nowhere to go.
You can get started for $500-$600 dollars, depending on what your specific needs are.
Luckily, we live in a day-and-age where you can purchase almost any keyboard in a VST form.
Now, these will never replace the physical keyboards, but you’d be surprised at the sound you can get out of some of these VST Keys for a couple of hundred dollars.
You may not even be thinking about instruments; you may be thinking that an SSL G-Series Compressor would really bring out your mix and allow you to produce something better.
While yes, that’s an excellent compressor, there are stock plugins in your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that can do the job just fine.
Ableton and Pro Tools are great examples of DAW’s that are stacked with great plugins right out of the box.
When you feel like you’ve outgrown some of your equipment and are ready to take the next step, that is the time to upgrade. There’s no rush! Take baby steps.
If you’re stuck on wanting that G-series Compressor, there is a VST for that, too.
There is really no reason to spend thousands of dollars if you are on a budget. Anyone can have access to nearly the same sounding hardware in a VST.
The excuse of not being able to make a good song because you don’t have the keyboard you'd like is no longer valid.
3. Master Your Program
Knowing the ins and outs of the program you’re producing in is more beneficial than you know.
People tend to see what software the big-name producers are using to produce music and then believe that they will not be able to achieve the same sound as those producers unless they have the same setup.
That couldn’t be more false. Those big-name producers know their DAW, their instruments, and their setup, like the back of their hand.
It’s not the pricey software that’s helping them make the song; it’s the time they put into knowing how to use what is at their fingertips.
The uphill battle of learning and mastering a program can be a little intimidating. Sometimes it is hard to fight the urge to leave "well enough" as it is.
However, it is critical to push past this complacency. You’ll come to realize soon enough that it doesn’t matter what equipment you have, but what creativity you have.
Items you may want to look into buying:
Something to make music on, like a laptop or computer, is critical. You don't need the fanciest laptop on the market, but make sure it has the specs necessary to succeed.
We have constructed an article regarding the Best Laptops for Music Production here.
You’ll also want a pair of speakers or monitors. KRK Rokit's are a great go-to for a first pair.
If you are using headphones, that’ll work for now, but having a pair of monitors will give you a better reference to your mix and ultimately give you less of a headache from having headphones squeezing your head for hours on end.
This last one isn’t necessary and you can definitely get away without having it, but a MIDI keyboard can prove to be helpful in the songwriting process.
You can get a 49-Key Keyboard from $150-$200 with brands such as Akai and Novation.
Having the freedom to physically see and press a keyboard, rather than writing chords and melody on a laptop, can help tremendously.
Get Started Today
At the end of the day, you do not need expensive equipment to produce a good song. What makes a song good or bad is the effort that is put into the song.
If you are intentional with your production, and you are able to get your ideas from your head onto your computer, you will be just fine producing a good tune.
Think outside of the box and don’t be scared to try something new! We don’t have any excuses now with the technology we have at our fingertips. The possibilities are endless!
Want to jump-start your music production career?
While the top-notch equipment may not be necessary for a good song, a degree or certificate from an accredited music college can certainly assist your overall music production career.
The Atlanta Institute of Music and Media offers a Music Production and Audio for Media Associate Degree and a Certificate in Music Production.
AIMM alumni Turbo the Great and Kesha Lee have made a name for themselves in the music industry, working with Gunna and Childish Gambino, respectively. Kesha even earned a Grammy for Record of the Year for her work on This is America.
You could be the next successful alumni we post about.
If you're looking for Music Production components combined with a focus in Guitar, Bass, Drums, Voice, or Keyboard, check out AIMM's Music and Technology Associate Degree or Online Certificate in Music and Technology.
If this appeals to you, click the button below to see how AIMM can benefit your career today.